BOSTON (CBS) — What will take place at the TD Garden on Wednesday night will be much more than a hockey game, even though all that is really happening will be, well, a hockey game.
But as anyone in Boston can attest to, seeing the Bruins back on the ice, in front of a sold-out home crowd, what takes place in the pregame ceremony and between whistles and during intermission will be tremendously important for a city working to recover from the horrific events of Monday afternoon.
“The one thing that I sense from our team is that we have the ability to maybe help people heal and find some reason to smile again, by giving them that, by representing our city properly,” head coach Claude Julien said after the morning skate. “To me, this is a time where you are proud to be associated with a professional team, even the NHL and all professional sports. When you look at the support this city has had from rivals and everything else, that are giving us support at this time, it’s amazing.
“We have an opportunity here to make our city proud. I think we’re all in for it, and hopefully we can do that for this city right now.”
And when the Bruins do take the ice, they’ll do so with the longest-tenured member of the team, Patrice Bergeron.
Julien said that Bergeron and Brad Marchand, both of whom suffered concussions, have been cleared to play and will return to game action against the Sabres.
Bergeron has been out since April 2, when his head inadvertently collided with the elbow of Ottawa’s Colin Greening’s, while Marchand has been out since April 10, when Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov elbowed the Bruins forward in the back of the head, earning a four-game NHL suspension in the process.
Bergeron’s concussion was deemed “moderate” by the Bruins, while Marchand’s was called “mild.”
Regarding his whole team’s mental approach to the game, Julien didn’t seem to think that having too much emotion would be a problem.
“I think, ideally, at the end of the day, you want to make sure you do the right thing. And the right thing is to play the best game you can tonight,” Julien said. “That’s important for us and that’s what you should. Whether the emotions get high and whether it plays a role, you just hope that it doesn’t affect what you’re trying to accomplish here. We want to do our part and our whole team is thinking that way right now.”